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MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix 2013

Round 18: Valencia

  • Overview
  • Race Results
  • Qualifying
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Valencia
Valencia
November 10, 2013

Marquez & Honda Make History at Valencia

Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda RC213V) made history at Valencia today, becoming the youngest premier-class king since the birth of the motorcycling World Championships in 1949. The remarkable rookie secured the title with a perfectly judged ride to third place behind team-mate Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC213V) and race winner and outgoing champion Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha).

Marc MARQUEZ (Repsol Honda Team)zoom
Marc MARQUEZ (Repsol Honda Team)
Marc MARQUEZ (Repsol Honda Team)zoom
Marc MARQUEZ (Repsol Honda Team)

Marquez – aged 20 years and 266 days – comfortably beat the previous youngest champion record, held by Honda's first premier-class king Freddie Spencer, who was 21 years and 258 days old when he won the title at Imola, Italy, on 4 September 1983. Marquez is Honda's 16th World Champion in the elite 500cc/MotoGP categories.

Following his six race victories earlier in the year – another record for a rookie – Marquez arrived at Valencia 13 points in front of Lorenzo. Thus Marquez knew that if Lorenzo won today's race, he ‘only' needed to finish fourth to make sure of his place in history. But the season finale – watched by a raucous capacity crowd at the stadium-style Valencia venue – was anything but straightforward.

Marquez didn't get the best of starts from pole position – his ninth pole from 18 races – and finished the first lap in third place behind leader Lorenzo and Pedrosa, the winner here in 2007, 2009 and 2012. Pedrosa attacked Lorenzo repeatedly, often getting ahead, only for Lorenzo to come right back at him, including one move at Turn Two that brought the pair into collision and came under investigation from Race Direction.

Lorenzo's tactics were simple: by chopping back and forth with Pedrosa he hoped to slow the leading pace and bring as many riders as possible into the lead group. He would then let fate play its hand and hope that other riders might relegate Marquez to fifth place or lower. However, the strategy failed. The second group of Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) and Alvaro Bautista (Honda) wasn't quite quick enough to join the fight at the front.

Lorenzo's collision with Pedrosa at Turn Two at one-third distance allowed Marquez to sweep into the lead, but with no need for him to take risks, it wasn't long before Lorenzo was back in front. Pedrosa was less lucky when Lorenzo slammed into him – he ran off the track and had Bautista and Rossi come by.

By half-distance Marquez seemed safe – he was running a comfortable second – but then Pedrosa passed Rossi and Bautista and set off after his team-mate. Marquez, who was executing some glorious high-speed slides through the fast Turn 13, did the sensible thing on lap 26 and let Pedrosa past into second place.

And that's the way it finished: Lorenzo, Pedrosa and then Marquez, who crossed the line in ecstasy before stopping on the slowdown lap and hurling his gloves into the tumultuous crowd. After 18 races – his first 18 races in the class – he had beaten twice MotoGP World Champion Lorenzo by four points.

Unlike the top three, Alvaro Bautista (GO&FUN Honda Gresini RC213V) chose the softer rear tire and was able to run just behind the leaders while Lorenzo tried to slow the pace. But the Spaniard wasn't keen to get involved in the three-way battle up front because he wanted to give fellow Honda riders Pedrosa and Marquez a clean run up front. Finally he finished fifth, four seconds behind Rossi.

Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda RC213V) spent much of the race alone, gaining one position when Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha) crashed out in front of him and eventually crossing the line in sixth place, almost ten seconds down on Bautista.

Bryan Staring (GO&FUN Honda Gresini FTR Honda) had another difficult run in his final MotoGP outing, coming home in 19th position.

Nicolas Terol (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2 Suter) won his third victory of the year in the Honda-powered Moto2 series, inheriting and never relinquishing the lead after runaway early leader and recently crowned World Champion Pol Espargaro (Tuenti HP40 Pons Kalex) crashed out of the lead on the eighth of 37 laps.

For a while, Terol had Simone Corsi (NGM Mobile Racing Speed Up) on his tail, but gradually he pulled away to establish a comfortable advantage and cross the finish line four seconds ahead of Jordi Torres (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2 Suter), who is still getting around the paddock on crutches, following a big spill in Japan two weeks ago.

Torres passed Corsi with six laps to go and worked hard to gain a gap on the Italian who then came under pressure from Johann Zarco (Came Ioda Racing Project Suter). The Italian and the Frenchman were neck and neck, Zarco getting a better drive out of the final turn to pass the checkered flag alongside Corsi. At first the timing screens had Corsi down as the final podium finisher, but moments later the final results had Zarco third by just one thousandth of a second.

Behind the top four, the mid-pack Moto2 battle was typically intense, with Esteve Rabat (Tuenti HP 40 Pons Kalex) breaking clear of the multitude to claim fifth. The next three finishers Alex De Angelis (NGM Mobile Forward Racing Speed Up), Thomas Luthi (Interwetten Paddock Suter) and Anthony West (QMMF Racing Team Speed Up) were separated by less than two seconds.

Scott Redding (Marc VDS Racing Team Kalex), who had led the World Championship until he crashed and broke a wrist in Australia three weeks ago, struggled to 15th. Espargaro remounted after his tumble and finished 29th.

Alexis Masbou (Ongetta-Rivacold FTR Honda) had a stunning ride to sixth place in the title-deciding Moto3 race, despite having to start the race from pit lane after his bike refused to fire for the warm-up lap.

The Frenchman was dead last at the end of the first lap but he kept his head and charged through the pack, even though this track is notoriously difficult for overtaking. By half-distance he had already climbed to 11th, but the closer you get to the front, the harder it is to pass.

The last man he overtook was Spaniard Isaac Vinales (Ongetta-Centro Seta FTR Honda), who crossed the line seventh, a fraction of a second behind Masbou, in the midst of a seven-rider gang disputing positions.

Honda's other big star of the race was Jack Miller (Caretta Technology – RTG FTR Honda) who was running fifth in the leading group – headed by title-fighters Maverick Vinales, Alex Rins and Luis Salom – until he tumbled out in the closing stages. Nonetheless he remains seventh overall in the World Championship final standings, just ahead of Masbou.

The title was won by Maverick Vinales, who got the better of Rins at the very final corner. Salom had fallen earlier, remounting to finish 14th.

Romano Fenati (San Carlo Team Italia FTR Honda) ended the season in 11th place, less than two tenths outside the top ten. The last Honda rider in the points was Matteo Ferrari (Ongetta-Centro Seta FTR Honda) in 15th position.

The 2014 preseason testing season begins tomorrow at Valencia, when most MotoGP riders will test their next year's prototypes. Moto2 and Moto3 riders start at Jerez later in the week.

Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team), Marc MARQUEZ (Repsol Honda Team)zoom
Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team),
Marc MARQUEZ (Repsol Honda Team)
Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)zoom
Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)

Honda Racing Corporation management quotes

Tetsu Suzuki, President Honda Racing Corporation
“During the last few laps, my stomach was aching and I was nervous, although I could see Marc not challenging for the win but for the championship. I am really happy to win this championship as we didn't expect Marc to win the title at the beginning of the year. Marc looks aggressive but is steady and he has improved a lot during the season. We hope he will win many more titles and I think he is the strongest rider of the future generation.”
Shuhei Nakamoto, Executive Vice President Honda Racing Corporation
“I am very much relieved. I saw Marc racing steadily, but still anything can happen in racing so I am very much relieved and of course happy. At the beginning of the season I said the possibility of Marc winning the Championship is five per cent but now he has done it! He learns really fast.”

MotoGP

Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda Team: 2nd
“I started well and from the first lap I thought I could go in front and be faster. But every time I passed Jorge he immediately fought back. I changed my overtakes but still he found a way to come past again – he pushed me a couple of times, the second time it was hard enough to push me off the track and I nearly crashed. After that it was a different race, I had to come back. Congratulations to Marc and Jorge, it's been a very exciting season.”
Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team: 3rd
“I am still in a dream – I can't yet realise what I did today! Maybe this all happened too early because we didn't expect the title in my first year. I have to say thanks to Honda, the team, my family and everyone who has helped me to enjoy this moment. The race result was what I predicted yesterday: Jorge, Dani, me. The first ten laps I was a little nervous and stiff on the bike. Inside something was telling me I needed to fight, but I had to be clever and think about the championship and not the race. It was the longest race of my career, especially the last lap when I was very careful and didn't push at all. In normal circumstances I would have been ready to fight with Jorge and Dani, but maybe if I pushed more I would have crashed. I'm so proud with what we have done this season. The first races I had a lot of moments, but by the second half of the championship I had a learned a lot and was cleverer. The big thing was that Honda helped me so much.”
Alvaro Bautista, GO&FUN Honda Gresini: 5th
“It hasn't been an easy weekend because we have had some problems with the set-up of the bike here. We have continued to work on making small changes to try and improve it for the race and after getting probably my best start of the year I was able to stick with the front guys for the first few laps. Lorenzo was slowing the pace down at the front and that gave me a chance to run with the guys at the front and I was in a position to make an attack but the last thing I wanted to do was get involved with the two guys who were fighting for the title. Once the soft tire dropped off I lost a little ground but I am happy because we have finished the championship in sixth place overall as the second best non-factory bike. I want to thank everybody in the team, Showa, Nissin, Honda and GO & FUN. Tomorrow we start working on the future.”
Stefan Bradl, LCR Honda MotoGP: 6th
“First of all I want to thank my team for their excellent job during the season – I am happy to keep working with them in 2014. For the first time in my career I finished a race in Valencia! The race itself was quite tough as we expected because we have been struggling with front-end issue for the whole weekend. Actually it was not a bad race but we lost a bit of time in certain areas so we will focus on those points from tomorrow during the testing days. My best moment of the season was my Laguna Seca podium because we did an incredible job the whole weekend there. The worst moment was the injury in Malaysia but I can say that, even in that case, Lucio [Cecchinello] and the guys were incredibly professional and they made my recovery easy and fast. The 2013 season is over but we will start working on 2014 in less than 24 hours...”
Bryan Staring, GO&FUN Honda Gresini: 19th
“I was hoping for my MotoGP experience to finish in more positive fashion than this but it wasn't possible today. I want to thank everybody that has helped me this year during this new adventure and to those who made it possible for me to get this opportunity.”

Moto2

Nicolas Terol, Aspar Team Moto2: race winner
“I'm very happy with my first victory here at my home circuit. It's a dream come true for me. The race was difficult because I was alone, so lap by lap I had to work very hard to maintain concentration and focus. To win the last race of 2013 is very important to me because it gives me great motivation for 2014 when I will be ready for the battle.”
Jordi Torres, Aspar Team Moto2: 2nd
“To score a win, a second and a third in my first full season is a great result for me. During the race I had some pain from my injured leg, but I didn't think about it while riding. The only problem was that the other leg had to work extra hard, so by the end I was very tired. I pushed hard to catch Corsi and again to make a gap on him. For the Aspar team to get a one-two here is incredible.”
Johann Zarco, Came Ioda Racing Project: 3rd
“It's so nice to be on the podium at the last race. I wasn't sure whether I had got it at the finish line. I looked up at the big screens and they said I was fourth, which was a big disappointment, but when I got back to the pits my team said I was third, so that made me very happy, a huge emotion!”

Moto3

Alexis Masbou, Ongetta-Rivacold: 6th
“We don't know why but the bike wouldn't start, so we had to start the race from pit lane. After that the bike ran okay and in the race very good – my lap times weren't so bad and I passed a lot of riders. This isn't my favourite track, so I think we made a really good job for the race. The last four races have been very good for us – we've been fast.”
Isaac Vinales, Ongetta-Centro Seta: 7th
“That was a really tough race and I think we have to be happy with the result because it is my best finish of the year. At the end of the first lap I was down in 16th, so from there it was a big fight with a lot of riders to come through to seventh, just behind Masbou. Now we go into winter testing, working to improve for 2014.”
Romano Fenati, San Carlo Team Italia: 11th
“I really wanted to be in the championship top ten and we did it, although of course I was hoping to do more in my last race with Team Italia. These two pats years have been very intense, during which we have achieved good results together and faced the most difficult times, always putting the maximum commitment. Now I leave the team and I say thank you, keeping with me good memories before opening a new page in my career.”
Jack Miller, Caretta Technology – RTG FTR Honda: DNF
“I was just cruising with the front guys – it was an unexpected crash. And it was a quick one, it hurt a bit. I suppose I was hanging onto them a bit with the tips of my fingers – maybe it was a bit too much for the tires.”
(from left) Pol ESPARGARO (Tuenti HP 40), Marc MARQUEZ (Repsol Honda Team)zoom
(from left) Pol ESPARGARO (Tuenti HP 40),
Marc MARQUEZ (Repsol Honda Team)

MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix
Round 18: Valencia

MotoGP
Rank Rider (Team)
1Jorge LORENZO (Yamaha Factory Racing)
2Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)
3Marc MARQUEZ (Repsol Honda Team)
4Valentino ROSSI (Yamaha Factory Racing)
5Alvaro BAUTISTA (GO&FUN Honda Gresini)
6Stefan BRADL (LCR Honda MotoGP)
7Bradley SMITH (Monster Yamaha Tech 3)
8Nicky HAYDEN (Ducati Team)
9Andrea DOVIZIOSO (Ducati Team)
10 Michele PIRRO (Ducati Test Team)
11Aleix ESPARGARO (Power Electronics Aspar)
12Hector BARBERA (Avintia Blusens)
13Claudio CORTI (NGM Mobile Forward Racing)
14Danilo PETRUCCI (Came IodaRacing Project)
15Colin EDWARDS (NGM Mobile Forward Racing)
Moto2
Rank Rider (Team)
1Nicolas TEROL (Aspar Team Moto2)
2Jordi TORRES (Aspar Team Moto2)
3Johann ZARCO (Came Iodaracing Project)
4Simone CORSI (NGM Mobile Racing)
5Esteve RABAT (Tuenti HP 40)
6Alex DE ANGELIS (NGM Mobile Forward Racing)
7Thomas LUTHI (Interwetten Paddock Moto2)
8Anthony WEST (QMMF Racing Team)
9Mattia PASINI (NGM Mobile Racing)
10Dominique AEGERTER (Technomag carXpert)
11Julian SIMON (Italtrans Racing Team)
12Xavier SIMEON (Maptaq SAG Zelos Team)
13Takaaki NAKAGAMI (Italtrans Racing Team)
14Mika KALLIO (Marc VDS Racing Team)
15Scott REDDING (Marc VDS Racing Team)
Moto3
Rank Rider (Team)
1Maverick VIÑALES (Team Calvo)
2Jonas FOLGER (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3)
3Alex RINS (Estrella Galicia 0,0)
4Alex MARQUEZ (Estrella Galicia 0,0)
5Efren VAZQUEZ (Mahindra Racing)
6Alexis MASBOU (Ongetta-Rivacold)
7Isaac VIÑALES (Ongetta-Centro Seta)
8Ana CARRASCO (Team Calvo)
9Philipp OETTL (Interwetten Moto3 Racing)
10Miguel OLIVEIRA (Mahindra Racing)
11Romano FENATI (San Carlo Team Italia)
12Brad BINDER (Ambrogio Racing)
13Zulfahmi KHAIRUDDIN (Red Bull KTM Ajo)
14Luis SALOM (Red Bull KTM Ajo)
15Matteo FERRARI (Ongetta-Centro Seta)

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